The Marine battalion commander who was relieved of his duties for blasting his superiors over the Afghanistan exit strategy says he has resigned from the military.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller published a new video online on Sunday addressing his resignation just days after he went viral for calling out his superiors for not ‘raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up.”
Scheller’s original video criticized Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley for leaving the Bagram Air Base before all Americans and their allies had the chance to be evacuated.
It came after 13 U.S. service members, including 11 Marines, were killed along with more than 90 Afghans after at least one suicide bomber attacked the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
The new 10-minute video, titled ‘Your Move,’ acknowledges Scheller has sacrificed a cushy pension by leaving the Marines after making his comments. It’s unheard of for an active duty Marine commander to publicly rip ranking military leaders.
‘I just want to clarify my legal status. I have been relieved of my command but I am still a United States Marine. Currently I am not pending legal action,’ Scheller said in the new video which ended his 17-year military career.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller published a new video online on Sunday addressing his resignation just days after he went viral for calling out his superiors
The new 10-minute video, titled ‘Your Move,’ acknowledges Scheller has sacrificed a cushy pension by leaving the Marines after making his comments
Scheller said the Marines want ‘to hide me away’ for three years until his service ended and not send him to a board of inquiry, which could have separated him on ‘other than honorable’ conditions.
The Marine revealed that he was resigning after he felt challenged to after a comment to his post on LinkedIn from retired Marine Col. Thomas K. Hobbs.
‘If Scheller was truly honorable, he would have resigned his commission in protest after stating what he did,’ wrote Hobbs, who Scheller said he loved ‘like a father.’
Scheller said: ‘You didn’t say ‘is’ as in challenging me, you said ‘was’ as if you assumed I wouldn’t do it.’
‘I want to make the announcement today, after 17 years, I’m currently not pending legal action and I could stay in the Marine Corps for another three years but I don’t think that’s the path I’m on.’
Scheller said in the video that his resignation would be effective ‘now’ though acknowledged that there’s administrative paperwork that needs to be filed for him to properly resign.
‘But I am forfeiting my retirement, all entitlements. I don’t want a single dollar. I don’t want any money from the VA, I don’t want any VA benefits,’ Scheller said, claiming that he was forgoing more than $2 million in pension benefits by leaving the service.
In the video, Scheller also appeared to direct a vague threat toward senior military leaders – who he said should be given the money from his pension.
‘I think that money should go back to all the senior general officers because I think they need it more than I do – because when I am done with what I’m about to do, you all are going to need the jobs and the security,’ he said.
The Marine said that he ‘would have gone back into the rank-and-file’ if his superiors had just said ‘Yes, mistakes were made.’
He said that he was trying to get senior leaders to ‘accept accountability.’
‘I think them accepting accountability would do more for service members and PTSD and struggling with purpose than any other transparent piece of paper or message,’ Scheller said in the video.
He added: ‘If Stuart Scheller was honorable, he would resign. You have no idea what I’m capable of doing.’
‘To all the congressmen, senators, every media station across the globe, yo all the rich philanthropists, I appreciate the support and I’m going to need your support.’
In comments to the New York Post on Saturday, Scheller had evoked former President Thomas Jefferson’s saying: ‘Every generation needs a revolution.’
Marine Corp Lt. Col. Stuart Steller said in a widely shared video that military leaders need to take accountability for botched, fatal evacuation out of Afghanistan
Follow up post to the video where Scheller said he was relived of his duty
He claimed in another Facebook post that some of his fellow officers have urged him to take down the video despite agreeing with him.
The New York Post also spoke with Scheller’s family and Marines he has served with, who praised his ‘courage’ for speaking out.
Juan Chavez, 33, served under Scheller from 2011 to 2014 and called him a ‘magnificent leader’ and ‘a breath of fresh air’ in comments to the New York Post.
‘It takes real courage to do what he did and that was Stu all the way,’ Chavez said.
Stuart Scheller Sr., his father, called him ‘the real deal’ and ‘a Marine’s Marine’ who idolized his grandfather, a World War II vet who landed on the beach at Normandy.
‘He has put his life on the line for fellow Marines so putting his career on the line like this does not surprise us,’ the proud father said.
He added: ‘He’s still on the battlefield protecting his men and women. It’s interesting that no one (in the military) has answered his call for accountability. Their answer was to fire him I guess. It’s a sad day for America.’
Scheller was relieved of his duties as a battalion commander after a stellar 17-year career. ‘I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, ‘I demand accountability,” he said
Scheller claimed in another Facebook post on Saturday that some of his fellow officers have urged him to take down the video despite agreeing with him.
‘Obviously I didn’t take it down,’ Scheller wrote.
‘I’ll offer this: we can’t ALL be wrong. If you all agree … then step up. They only have the power because we allow it. What if we all demanded accountability?’
Scheller, whose career included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, had posted the controversial five-minute video on Facebook and LinkedIn. In a follow up post later in the day Friday, he said was relieved of his duties.
‘The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down,’ Scheller said in the original video.
‘I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, ‘I demand accountability.”
Lt. Col. Scheller said he had a personal relationship with one of the Marines who died in Thursday’s ISIS-K bombing and ‘potentially, all those people did die in vain’ if the leaders don’t take ownership of the debacle.
He said a major strategic error was not securing Bagram air base before evacuating people. Instead, the US relied on the Kabul airport as the only way to fly out of the country.
Maj. Jim Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesperson, told DailyMail.com in a statement that Scheller was relieved of command by Col. David Emmel ‘due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command.’
‘This is obviously an emotional time for a lot of Marines, and we encourage anyone struggling right now to seek counseling or talk to a fellow Marine. There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, but it’s not social media,’ Maj. Stenger said.
In a Facebook post, Steller said: ‘My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do if I were in their shoes.’
Pentagon officials said on Friday that there was only one suicide bomber at Kabul airport on Thursday and not two, as was previously claimed, adding to confusion over the attack and fears for the ongoing operation on the ground.
Speaking at a briefing on Friday, Army General Hank Taylor said: ‘I can confirm that we do not believe there was a second explosion at or near the Baron hotel.’
‘It was one suicide bomber. In the confusion of very dynamic events can cause information to get confused.’